Now that spring has finally sprung, it’s a great time to do maintenance on your home’s boiler. Regular spring boiler maintenance is essential to keep your boiler running trouble-free and to ensure peak efficiency during the next heating season. It’s also the ideal time to check the system for leaks and troubleshoot or tweak any operational issues. Finally, if your boiler is more than 30 years old and is still operational, it may be time to consider replacing your boiler altogether to take advantage of new high-efficiency models.
Boiler maintenance is like housekeeping – you don’t notice it until it’s not done. Over the course of a heating season, boilers can accumulate soot and scale in various components. Even a small amount of contamination can decrease boiler efficiency by as much as one-third during seasonal operation! If you have an oil-fired boiler, the heavier your fuel is, the more contaminants your system will accumulate. These accumulations occur naturally as part of the combustion process. They don’t indicate a problem, but they do need to be removed regularly to preserve efficiency.
In addition to removing soot and scale accumulations, your major system components should also be thoroughly cleaned and checked. All valves, pumps, shutoffs, sensors and connectors should be inspected/tested, and all exhaust gas ductwork should be checked for leaks, cracks and other damage. Your chimney should also be inspected periodically to ensure that toxic exhaust gases from your boiler aren’t being vented back into your home.
Boiler maintenance also includes checking the entire system for leaks and obstructions, and inspecting/replacing old gaskets and cranky valves. If your boiler does double-duty as a year-round water heater, you should perform additional maintenance before the weather turns cool again to ensure peak efficiency.
Currently, the Early Boiler Replacement Program can help save money on a replacement boiler for your home. Only operational boilers that are at least 30 years old qualify for replacement rebates. Under this MassSave program, you must replace your existing boiler with a new, qualifying boiler that uses the same type of fuel. Fuel conversions do not qualify for the Early Boiler Replacement Program.
If you want to do a fuel conversion, Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating can help with other programs and financing options. Fuel conversions from heating oil to natural gas can save thousands of dollars on operational costs over the lifetime of the boiler and can significantly reduce the cost of heating your home.
If you would like more information about regular boiler maintenance, or would like to schedule a maintenance appointment, give us a call at (617) 288-2911. We can also consult with you on the Early Boiler Replacement Program, the Early Furnace Replacement Program and other cost-effective options for converting from heating oil to natural gas.
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